I see the signs. They are every where and no where. Concealed and in plain sight. Hidden to those that wish deception. For the fiction is pleasantry. Yet, for those of us who can see, we beg for blindness. For the truth is everything we fear.
I wrote this almost a year ago. I don’t know why. It is not a part of anything. Nor, do I feel that it is the start or ending to anything just yet. It just came out and, now, exists.
Sometimes, I write little snippets of things — fragments. Sometimes sentences. Sometimes paragraphs. Sometimes a whole page or two. Sometimes a single word.
I had a creative writing teacher when I was a teenager tell me this was not uncommon. That sometimes a writer’s brain does not work in linear wholes. That, sometimes a fragment will appear suddenly and have no place. Then, someday later, you might stumble across it and build upon it or find a place where it belongs.
She told me to set these aside and revisit them from time to time. That eventually their place may come along.
I have found this a helpful lesson for much of life. Not everything has to have a place right away. Sometimes we find a place. Sometimes a place comes along.
In no specific order…
Something to write with. What that is matters little. As long as I can put words onto/into… Something with… Whatever. I have my preferences, sure. Recently, that has been a pen and a perfectly blank page. But, I’ve been known to use other tools as well. Any tool will do.
Time. I need the time to think, clear my head, consider my thoughts and how best to express them, and do the writing. Not all in that order or all at once. Sometime these actions may take weeks. Other times, seconds.
Love. I need to love the act of writing and love what I’m writing about. I find it stiflingly difficult otherwise. I think many may be surprised just how many days I find little love in either. That said, when I do, it is magic.
Nutrition. I’m hypoglycemic so I get very hazy and disoriented when I don’t have proper fuel. It makes it difficult to do most things and, writing, especially so.
Life. I have to live one. With things to observe and people to have conversations with and lessons to learn through experience. Without these I have nothing worth writing about.
I lay this out because I’ve been battling illness for the past few weeks now. First a cold-like virus and, recently, a stomach flu. I wanted to remind myself that I need all of the items above to do my best work. That the absence of any of the above means it either will not happen or will not happen well. And, that, most days that’s just fine.
As a teen, I published my first book. It was a book of the most painfully bad and emotional poetry that, thankfully, few have (or will ever have) seen. Yet, having re-discovered a copy recently, I realize how important it was to my path. That the seed of selling my writing — that one really could do such — was planted. That, even if not perfect (or even really that good), people who want to support you, your work, your further development, are out there. They are paying as much for the poetry now as the poetry they know could come.
I love good poetry. I, thankfully, live in a city where poetry is respected. Thanks to an active sidewalk poetry program, I encounter it unexpectedly and often walking the streets. I encounter it at bookstores and stenciled on walls. I sometimes see it on bus stop posters. I even spot the occasional and unintentional haiku in a sign or flyer.
Though I write poetry much less these days, and share it even less than that, I still find that it often stops me in my tracks. When very good or, especially, when unexpected it has the power to change me. To change my notions about the world or even those I know. To stop me in my tracks and shift my direction. Any good writing can do this, yes. But a good poem can get to places inside you no other words can.